Monde et Montres...

Monde et Montres...

Smart Watches vs. Mechanical Watches

Version francaise: Montres connectées VS Montres mécaniques


Will Smart Watches jeopardize Mechanical watches?


To answer this question, we have to back to the reasons of the success of mechanical watches...


For me, (very) roughly speaking, there is two different population among the mechanical watches addicts:

- In the first one, you find persons who are interested in the technical aspect of a mechanical watch. Centuries of enhancement, to go from the clepsydre to the last ORIS caliber 110 or the anchor with no pivot of ULYSSE NARDIN. Treasures of imagination to integrate in 30mm of diameter and 5mm of thickness all the most innovative complications... I love the idea of a mechanical device that just wait to be winded to start working, without needing to change the battery. Here is what I love in a mechanical watch, and what most of watches afficionados love too. More, the watch has to be a minimum good-looking, and I think that add to the genius of watchmakers to succeed into creating their mouvements to meet an harmonious dial design!

- The second population is the one of those for who the watch is a social marker: the more expensive the watch is, the more you fell high in the society. This population bring together those who like to say "my watch is a mechanical one" whatever the price is (expensive or not), and those who buy expensive watches just to be able to say "It's expensive". They have the right, this is not the purpose of this text...


For me, a Smart Watch will never be attractive for the persons interested in the technical aspect of a mechnical watch, and the prices will never make this kind of watch a social marker, just a little fashion effect at the begining (being among the first to have such an objects), but once the first moment passed, the craze will go down.


The quartz crises who jeopardized so much the Mechanical Watches world in the 70's/80's sorted the persons who just want to have an object that gives the hour, accuratly if possible, and those who look for a bit more (see two populations described above). So the Smart watch will more find its place on the wrist of geeks, and will more be in conflict with quartz watches, and also "couturier" watches, ever if it is really couturiers (DIESEL, ...) or brands dedicated to fashion victims (FOSSIL, ...).


Of course some mechanical watches fans could buy a smart watch, but it will be, in my opinion, just a complement, not a replacement.

As a conclusion, my feeling is that generally smart watch wont jeopardize mechanical watches world, except may be some slight volume adjustments...

But slight volume adjustments may have big impacts!

Las results published but the SWATCH GROUP, and that must be representative of other Watch groups about the tendency, show a decrease of the amont of selled watches, with a raise of the sales. This is signifying in my opinion that first the price of the basic watches is rising, moving away brands from their custommers that make their volume, and that the more expensive watches has been better selled.
If societies start to develop Smart Watches very expensive (a bit like made VERTU in the phone world), with gold and diamonds, they may encroach on the more expensive mechanical watches. Groups to dependant on this kind of watch suffer more than the others...


Time will tell!

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